SMEs on Video: Help Them Get Comfortable

July 29, 2013 in Find Your Focus Video, Greg Owen-Boger, Talent Development, Video, Virtual

Do you coach SMEs, colleagues or clients on video? Do you present on video? If you answered yes to either question, here’s a webcast Greg Owen-Boger conducted with KZO Innovations July 24th.

Greg was joined by Juana Llorens, Community Manager for ASTD’s Learning & Development Community of Practice. She spoke about some new thinking around SMEs in the new book: “SMEs From the Ground Up,” by Chuck Hodell.


Video: A Core Competency for Learning Professionals?

April 23, 2013 in Author, Find Your Focus Video, Greg Owen-Boger, Talent Development

greg 200x300“Producing didactic video is a skill that will be as important as designing workbooks that aid learning.”

I love this quote. It’s the first sentence in an article by Jonathan Halls on the ASTD website. Halls is right. Video in eLearning isn’t going away; and, as learning and performance professionals, we need to get better at producing it.

The challenge is that video has been expensive and always seemed a little mysterious. When I’ve spoken at industry events about this topic, I’ve seen that there are a lot of learning professionals hungry for help. The good news is that a lot of the new technology available to us makes it easier to produce effective video on a limited budget. We just need to get comfortable using it.

If you’re new to video and need to plan, shoot, edit or be on camera, here are some resources for you.

What other ideas do you have about producing eLearning video?

By Greg Owen-Boger, VP at Turpin Communicationand co-author of the upcoming book, “The Orderly Conversation”

When presenting, people ask me to skip to the end. What should I do?

July 5, 2011 in Author, Delivering Your Presentation, Delivery, FAQs, Greg Owen-Boger, Managing the Orderly Conversation, Mary Clare Healy, Practice Does Not Make Perfect, Video

greg 200x300A lot of business presenters we work with feel frustrated (and sometimes threatened) when listeners ask them to skip to the end of their presentation.

If you think of your presentation as a one-sided information push that only you control, you would be frustrated by this too.

But… if you know anything about the work we do at Turpin Communication, you’d know that we advocate for flexibility.

Presentations should not be about (a) you the presenter or (b) your information. They should be about (a) the listeners and (b) making sure that they understand the meaning behind your information.

This requires the ability to remain flexible and to shift your focus away from yourself and toward your listeners.

So… keep the end goal in mind, give them what they need and provide back-up information only if they ask for it.

My colleague, Mary Clare Healy, addresses this issue differently in this video blog.

by Greg Owen-Boger, VP and Trainer at Turpin Communication

How to Engage Viewers through Video

June 22, 2011 in Author, Delivery, FAQs, Find Your Focus Video, Greg Owen-Boger, Video

greg 200x300There’s been a lot of buzz lately around the idea of engaging viewers when you’re on camera. It’s not easy to appear natural while managing the process of dealing with a script, the camera, lights and the extra people it takes to run the equipment.

We’ve been asked many times how we manage to do it so well in our eLearning ( courses and our other videos at

Recently I spoke on this very topic at the International Conference on E-Learning in the Workplace (ICELW) in New York City. We’ve also created some how-to videos for our friends at KinetiCast (

Here’s one of those videos, in which I explain how we engage viewers through video.

Interested in having me present this material to your team?
Give me a call 773-256-9406 or email

By Greg Owen-Boger, VP Turpin Communication

Greg to Present at the International Conference on E-Learning in the Workplace

April 27, 2011 in Find Your Focus Video, News

Greg Owen-Boger, Turpin Communication’s VP, has been invited to present at the International Conference on E-Learning in the Workplace June 10, 2011 at Columbia University in New York City.

The session is called Down & Dirty Video: Practical Strategies for Producing Engaging E-Learning Video on a Budget.

Often the best way to convey concepts in E-Learning courses is to include video of the instructor or SME speaking directly to learners. This can be a daunting task if you’re not equipped with the know-how to plan, shoot, edit and deploy the video. It’s even more challenging when you or your subject matter experts are not at ease in front of the camera.

It’s no longer necessary to have a fully equipped sound studio complete with movie-quality cameras, teleprompter and a green screen at your fingertips to produce effective video.

This session will provide practical hands-on strategies for producing “talking head” videos on a budget. Topics will include:

  • Best practices for developing and rehearsing a script.
  • Best practices for setting up a make-shift studio and the placement of the camera, lights and sound equipment.
  • Strategies for engaging learners and sounding conversational (and coaching others to do the same).
  • Guidelines for editing and producing the finished product.

Take Your Presentations to the Next Level in 2011

December 1, 2010 in Dale Ludwig, Delivery, Greg Owen-Boger, News, Preparation, Sarah Stocker

Take your presentations (or your team’s) to the next level by participating in a highly interactive 2-day presentation skills workshop in Chicago presented by Turpin Communication.

2011 Presentation Skills Workshop Dates in Chicago:

  • January 11-12
  • April 12-13
  • July 11-12
  • October 25-26

These sessions are open to the public and are designed for business presenters at all levels. Enrollment is limited to just 8 participants. Each session will be taught by 2 instructors to ensure plenty of personal attention. See below for more information.

Reserve your spot soon because space is limited to just 8 participants. 

Hope to see you in 2011!

Learn More  |  Enroll Now

Course Overview

During this highly interactive workshop, we’ll help you
Find your focus. Be yourself. Only Better.

You’ll capitalize on your strengths and develop the skills you need to overcome your weaknesses. You’ll also learn:

  • How to engage your audience and appear more comfortable
  • How to feel less nervous
  • How to organize your presentations more clearly and efficiently
  • How to improve the design and delivery of your PowerPoint slides
  • How to make sure what you say is actually heard
  • How to manage questions and interruptions during your presentations

Throughout the course, you’ll work on a real-life presentation of your choosing. All exercises are videoed, but your videos aren’t replayed in front of the group. Instead, after the exercise, you’ll watch your video with a coach. This private coaching will provide additional – and very valuable – feedback to help you integrate what you’ve learned in class into the situations you face outside of it.

The course includes 12-month access to eCoach, Turpin’s online skill-reinforcement tool.

Learn More  |  Enroll Now

Partnership Provides How-to Guidance for Online Presentation Tool

November 11, 2010 in Dale Ludwig, News, Video


Media Contact:

Dale Ludwig, President

Chicago, Illinois – Nov. 11, 2010 – Turpin Communication, a Chicago-based training company specializing in presentation and facilitation skills development, is partnering with KinetiCast, a provider of online presentation tools for sales professionals. The result is multi-media presentations that are organized and delivered to help businesses increase sales. 

KinetiCast empowers users to create, email and track online presentations that can help qualify prospects, shorten sales cycles and close more deals. For example, a KinetiCast user can email an online presentation, including a personalized video, to potential clients. The presentation would provide details about their services. The video would be used to thank the prospect for their interest and make a special offer.

Turpin is helping KinetiCast users be more effective with a series of “how to” videos, available on the KinetiCast Web site. The three videos explain how to organize presentations for online viewing, how to engage viewers through the lens of a camera, and how to make various media elements work together as a whole. While these videos were developed with KinetiCast’s users in mind, non-users also will find significant value in Turpin’s communication expertise.

“We took on this project because Turpin helps people prepare and deliver all kinds of messages — not just traditional presentations,” said Dale Ludwig, Turpin Communication president. “We are a big fan of the KinetiCast system – we actually use it in our own business. KinetiCast is a great way for business people to connect with clients and potential clients. The videos we created help Kineticast users to be even more effective – they’re concise and packed with useful information.”

“KinetiCast users are going to get significant value from these videos,” said Michael Grosso, President of KinetiCast. “Offering Turpin’s communication expertise along with our online sales presentation tool, sales professionals will get the most from our unique product and be even more effective in their sales efforts.”

The videos can be viewed at:

About Turpin Communication
Turpin Communication has been consulting, coaching and training business people in how to effectively communicate since 1992. Turpin’s goal is to help presenters and group facilitators develop the skills and insight they need to succeed. Turpin delivers corporate and e-learning videos, group workshops to a variety of clients, open-enrollment classes for individuals, and presentation skills training delivered online.

About KinetiCast
Founded in 2007, KinetiCast is based in New York’s Tech Valley.

Applying what you Learned in Presentation Skills Class

September 29, 2010 in Author, Dale Ludwig, Delivery, FAQs, Preparation

This question was submitted by Nick through our Ask an Expert forum, which all workshop participants have access to after attending one of our workshops.  Since it brings up a common concern, I’ll answer it here on the blog for others to see.

I recently delivered a presentation and found that I forgot to use many of the lessons I learned in the workshop.  I found myself relying too heavily on my slides and not having a conversation with the audience. This was a bit disappointing because I thought I was making progress since the workshop.  Any suggestions on practicing or creating slides that forces me to be more of the Improviser and not the Writer?

First, I want to say that it’s really a good thing that you’re more self aware during your presentations.  That’s an important first step.  Of course when we gain self awareness we also gain the knowledge that we don’t always do what we planned to do.  But try not to be disappointed.  You’re on the right track.

That said, let’s take a look at your presentation issues.  Like most people with the Writer Default, you’re struggling with the transition from preparation to delivery.  So, be sure to prepare your slides with delivery in mind.  Create meaningful slide titles that, when read during delivery, will launch the conversation you want to have.  Keep your slides simple and to the point.  That means editing them mercilessly.

Next, don’t practice to come up with the single, perfect explanation.  It will mess you up during delivery.  Instead try to get comfortable explaining your slides in a variety of ways, imagining a variety of listeners.  That will improve flexibility.

When you deliver your slides, give your audience an overview of each, then go into the details.  If the slide has a list of bullet points, read through them.  If the slide has an image or data, tell your listeners what they’re looking at.  This will focus their attention on the screen when the slide first appears.  After the overview, it’s your responsibility to turn back to your audience and continue the conversation.  It’s sort of like show-and-tell because you’re showing people the slide, then talking about what it means.

As you continue to deliver presentations, don’t worry about everything at once.  You’ll overwhelm yourself.  Tackle one issue at a time.  For example, go into your next presentation with the goal of using your slide titles better.  Or remembering to move toward your listeners after you’ve delivered the overview of each slide.  Stay focused on changing one behavior at a time.  Long-term improvement will follow.

To help with that, take advantage of the feedback you received post-workshop through eCoach.  Both the follow-up letter and the video comments available there will help you stay focused.  Our goal with eCoach is to help you prioritize.  Review you follow-up letter before your next presentation.  And be sure to take a look at the video exercises from the second day of class.  That’s when we were working on slide delivery.  Watching them again will remind you of what it felt like to successfully manage your Default Approach.

Thanks for your question.  Let me know how you’re doing.

by Dale Ludwig, President and Trainer at Turpin Communication

eCoach Streamlines and Enriches Presentation Skills Training

January 22, 2010 in Author, Dale Ludwig, News, Training


Chicago, Illinois – Turpin Communication, a Chicago-based training company specializing in tailored presentation and facilitation skills development, has launched eCoach, a first-of-its-kind learners’ portal.  Through eCoach, Turpin blends the highly experiential in-class training they’re known for with the convenience and efficiency of online training.  The unique training experience offered through eCoach not only streamlines the live training process, but also enriches skill development over the long term.  The result is greater value and increased return on their client’s training investment.

eCoach enriches the live workshop experience in three ways.

Online pre-work jumpstarts the training. Before their live workshop, participants spend an hour or two online completing a draft of the presentation they will practice in class.   The pre-work course, called “Preparing Your Presentation” is taught by Turpin trainers using video and PowerPoint.  As they create their presentations, participants are also learning Turpin’s unique approach to fast, effective organization.   When the draft presentation is completed, it’s uploaded to eCoach.  From there, Turpin trainers review it and prepare feedback to be delivered in the workshop.

This is an important advantage because when participant and trainers meet in the classroom, the foundation for the class is already laid.   “Not only does this save precious workshop time,” says Dale Ludwig, Turpin’s president, “but since participants are able to work at their own pace online they have time to absorb the underlying concepts of organization and persuasion.”

eCoach enriches individual coaching. Beyond pre-work, the secure eCoach site is used to house each participant’s in-class videos.  Like most presentation skills companies, Turpin relies on video to help presenters gain perspective and focus their improvement.  When videos are recorded in class, participants review them privately with a Turpin trainer.  Until recently video was recorded on VHS tapes.  It was the switch to digital recording, according to Ludwig, that sparked the eCoach revolution.  “Once video went digital, we realized that we had a huge opportunity to improve how the video was accessed and the quality of learning attached to it.”

Workshop participants no longer leave class with a VHS tape in tow.  Instead, after the workshop all videos are uploaded to eCoach.  From there, Turpin trainers review them, integrating comments and reminders that will be visible to participants as the video plays.  This way, when presenters review their videos, they’re reminded of the coaching they received.   “Before eCoach,” says Ludwig, “what was discussed with presenters during video review was fleeting and easily lost.  Now we’re able to put it at their fingertips.”

Skills are refreshed. Workshop participants have access to eCoach for the twelve months following their live workshop.  During that time they can review their videos, retrieve course materials and watch seven refresher videos.  These brief refreshers offer on-demand reminders and skill reinforcement.  Like the pre-work, the refreshers are another way Turpin is using online methods to enrich the live workshop experience.

Turpin’s clients are excited about the value-add eCoach provides.  As Frank Iamelli of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association said, “I’m thrilled to be able to offer something new, innovative and cost-efficient while still bringing high-value (training) to our students.”

Turpin Communication has been delivering presentation and facilitation skills workshops since 1992.  It delivers group workshops to a variety of clients, open-enrollment classes for individuals, and presentation skills training delivered online.   Turpin’s goal is to help presenters and group facilitators develop the skills and insight they need to succeed.


Media Contact:
Dale Ludwig, Ph.D. President
Turpin Communication